Yesterday… The fact that Jesus told His disciples to be like children so they could enter the kingdom of God presupposes the possibility. But how does it happen? How can someone who has been stained by sin be clean again?
The Bible talks about two kinds of cleansing; one an event with ongoing implications and the other a process. The event is the washing away of our sins through the blood of Jesus. In 1 John 1:7 the apostle John writes, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Jesus cleanses our hearts from sin, and continues to keep us in a state of grace until we reach the end of our journey.
The second cleansing, a process, is known as sanctification. Simply put, sanctification is the means by which Christ reverses the effects of sin in our lives and returns us to a place of personal peace and purity. His daily flow of grace restores us to spiritual health. In this way we become like little children again.
When we become like children, we don’t lose the wisdom we have gained in life, and we don’t forget the difficult lessons we have learned along the way. We wouldn’t want to. Our memory of Satan’s crimes helps us appreciate the Lord’s renewal, and we are able to offer hope to others by sharing our testimony. As we share, we will discover many of the people who need grace already have a childlike attitude, regardless of whether or not their hearts have been sprinkled clean. The trials of life have forced them to their knees and they are waiting eagerly for someone to show them the way.